(This is the continuation of yesterday’s My Runaway Mom.)
But then guess who did show up back in our house the morning after my mom didn’t? Our dad! After two years away, our six-foot-four, physical phenom dad just … turned the front door key, walked on in, and was home again.
About the first thing he saw upon his Big Entrance was my sister and I more or less huddled together on the couch, scarfing Oreos and shivering from fear.
After prying us off him, he said, “Kids, I need to talk to you.”
We were definitely all ears. What with us figuring our mom was dead and all.
“Now Nancy, John,” he said, “What I have to tell you isn’t … very easy to say. Your mother has, it seems, um … taken a little vacation. She’s not going to be living here anymore. I’m not sure exactly where she is going to be living—in fact, I’m not sure where she’s gone to at all, or what’s happened to her. I’m sure she’s fine, though. The main thing for you to know is that I’m back now, and that I’m going to be taking care of you from now on, or until we can figure out what’s going on with your mother. For now, everything’s going to continue exactly as it was before—except for without your mother. Now come on—you kids need to get to school.”
Yeah. Because what we really needed right then were lessons in geography.
What made the whole event particularly … different, is that when our dad came back to live with us, he brought with him someone else to live with us, too. It turned out he’d gotten (surprise!) married, to a fairly tall, square-shouldered, bombshell-figured, ramrod-backed, blue-eyed woman of Swedish extraction wearing form-fitting Capri jeans, a crisp white sleeveless blouse, and a blonde wig coiffed into something that managed to say at once, “I’m a healthy, fun person upon whom you can absolutely depend,” and “Are you sure you don’t have any Jews hiding in your basement?”
Maybe five minutes after introducing his new wife to us, my dad requested that my sister and I start referring to her as “Mom.”
I looked for guidance to my sister. If she could call this new woman “Mom,” then I could, too. But I saw that just then Nancy had lapsed into “Brain Overload: Can’t Talk” mode. So–what the heck—I jumped in.
“Sure,” I said. “No problem. Mom.”
I tried to smile when I said it. I have no idea what expression actually appeared on my face.
[The follow-up to this post is "My New Mom, Choppers."]